The Skip Garden in Kings Cross aims to provide a green space for the surrounding community, made of materials left on the surrounding construction sites (hence the skips). The garden was created by a group of gardeners and volunteers, interested in utilising the waste materials and space within the area. The garden grows fruits and vegetables, teaching the virtues of urban gardening. All produce grown is either used in the Skip Garden Kitchen on site or sold on to local businesses and restaurants. The whole aim of the project is to connect inner city dwellers with nature, especially local children, equipping them with skills for positive ecological and social change.
The garden was set up and ran by Global Generation, a charity made up of avid gardeners and volunteers. The charity began by creating bio-diverse roofs in Kings Cross, growing to larger projects and ultimately expanding to the Skip Garden. The project was set up as a response, almost to combat, the increasing amounts of concrete and glass in the area.
The Skip Garden is currently located in Tapper Walk, next to the Kings Cross Pond Club, within the Kings Cross development. However because of the rapid development within the area, the location changes once the land it resides on has been sold. The Kings Cross development area not only provides ample space for the garden to flourish but there is also a steady stream of foot traffic through the area. The garden is in close proximity to Camley Street Natural Park and Regents Canal, increasing local’s exposure to nature.
Although the actual cost of the project is not known, the way in which the project is funded is very interesting. Global Generation combines funding from the Big Lottery Fund with private donations. The most notable donations are from the construction companies in operation around the site, who have donated most of the materials used to build the garden. Crowd funding from local residents makes up a large proportion of the funding, allowing the locals to feel a part of the project.
Global Generation intend to cement the project in the landscape of Kings Cross, making it a prevalent and beneficial community space. The project also runs programmes for more specialist skills such as bee keeping and carpentry, also allowing students from the local secondary schools to undertake a practical BTEC in Business by working on the site. Global Generation hopes to extend this influence, reaching more students and engaging them in the site.
Image © Hannah Richins